oh also - would everyone else agree that $300 is about right for a 4-day rental for this size of system?
i can get a knock-off brand, which i DO fully trust - since i work at the store that manufactures and sells them. not only do they sound very nice, but they're dirt cheap. if anything happens, i can just swap them out at the store.
it's not the actual JBL stuff like i said. if i were to use actual JRX series speakers, the 1900 would turn into $2300. still a great deal. but i AM talking about actual Crown amps (xls 602 and 802) and actual dbx processing.
employee discounts baby, thats what i'm saying.
oh also - would everyone else agree that $300 is about right for a 4-day rental for this size of system?
You've got it all figured out, so grab your checkbook and go stimulate the economy.
I don't think your numbers add up for 6 cabs, 3 amps, & a driverack. But hey, what do I know? - I'm just looking at the pricelists.
Back to the economics: A couple grand isn't that big of an investment if you've got work lined up to offset the initial hit. Brother Max is swimming in the deep end of the pool and I'm not exactly in the shallow end myself, and I can tell you to get pro-quality (tech rider-friendly) results you'll be dropping between four and five digits per speaker cabinet.
just beneath the surface of the mud, there's more mud here... surprise - CSN
no no, not 6 cabs... 4 cabs. (2) 2x15" and (2) 18". marginal difference.
i dont think i'll be dropping that kind of money. this is just for small festivals, because none of my other friends / contacts have a system on hand for a 500-1000 person Event.
is there a durability improvement with a higher-end brand like EAW? or will it mostly be an audible difference? the size and weight scares me a lot from some of the higher-end manufacturers as well.
Pro-caliber gear offers both, better sound quality, and durability. The biggest difference is sheer brute force. The power handling and real-world useable output of a pro-level PA is what makes them so expensive. To feel the kick drum and park the lead vocal right in your face from 100 yards away takes a level of power that would turn an entry level speaker inside out. Pro gear is usually heavy too, because it's built like a tank. It has to be, to take the punishment of being trucked all over creation and the rough handling it gets along the way.Originally Posted by rockstardave
Basically what everyone is telling you is that "you get what you pay for" $1900 may seem like a sweet deal UNTIL after the third or forth use the equipment breaks down or is unusable.
Higher end speaker boxes are made out of plywood with metal horns and the speakers are attached to the boxes with "T" nuts and bolts. Low end boxes are made out of Medium Density Particle Board and the speakers are simply screwed to the MDPB which means that they will come apart if you happen to rough handle the cabinets even one time. The lower end equipment is not designed for road use and will work fine in a fixed installation or with minimum moving.
There is a reason that equipment like EV and EAW costs what it does. The same goes for control electronics although if you have to scrimp this would probably be the place to do it. Amplifiers are another place that you should not scrimp. Some inexpensive amplifiers do not have the protection that higher quality amps have and you could find yourself with DC on the output of the amp or the whole output fried because someone plugged too many speakers into the amplifier and it had no overload protection. Also many cheaper amplifiers are not rated for continuous use so an all day festival they may start to die one after the other. I think you need to figure out, as others have told you, what your REAL costs versus REAL expenses and plan to get what works and works well for what you are doing.
Best of luck!
Thomas W. Bethel
Acoustik Musik, Ltd.
Room with a View Productions
Oberlin, OH 44074
Celebrating 18 years in the mastering business in 2013
This isn't necessarily for the rockstar gurus, but I thought I would throw this in to benefit any of the young bucks who might stumble across this thread and think they can get into the festival game and make some "easy money" - I wish there were an audio emoticon for maniacal laughter.
But first, to add to Tom's good advice on the topic of "continuous use" typical at festivals. Don't skimp on quality or quantity of amps. People tend to put up more speaker boxes because it looks more impressive and then neglect to add additional amps - thinking their amp will run all day at 2 ohms. Running your amps at 2 ohms; is never a good idea in my book. The amp will run at a noticeably higher temperature at 2 ohms;. It may tolerate that for a short time, but few amps will perform well all day running at such a low impedence. [possible exceptions being amps that cost more than a sensible car]
Manufacturers dangle that 2 ohms; spec out there so that shoppers will think 'more watts per dollar'. You can theoretically run those amps at 2 ohms, but there are serious trade-offs.
A) It will stress the amp's internal components (transformers, filter caps, ceramic resistors, output transistors) and shorten their life span.
B) It will make the amp run hotter, which really wastes much of that alleged power increase.
C) The watts you gain on paper, don't translate to much of a real-world increase in volume - if any.
D) Speakers don't like it either. They will sound much clearer and better defined if the amp and speaker are allowed to operate at a higher impedence. [research damping factor and slew rate] It's all about accurately controlling the movement of the voice-coil. Speakers paralleled down to 2 ohms sound much harsher.
FESTIVAL REALITY CHECK
For some reason when people think about putting on an outdoor show, they always picture that idyllic best case scenario. Kicking back in the sunshine, beverage of your choice, listening to some good live music. It's a beautiful image, but not always how these things unfold on the day(s) of the show.
Outdoor jobs involve a completely different set of problems you need to be prepared for:
LOW-VOLTAGE - outdoor facilities often have very long cable runs, resulting in low line voltage, which will dramatically lower the output of your amps and the fidelity of all your other gear too. Or there's the ever exciting world of generator power. If you're lucky enough to be working with a pro-caliber generator truck it's a thing of beauty. Anything less might have you gnashing your teeth all day long as the voltage fluctuates all over the place. A big-time generator truck will make that worry-free, (unless you're the one writing the check). Those boys don't come cheap.
RAIN/PROMOTERS - promoters and event organizers almost NEVER want to move their event indoors, even if they have a contingency plan to do so. And rain-dates are seldom as successful as the original advertised date, so they will push hard to do the gig outdoors rain or shine. If you're under contract, the show must go on. *If you feel it's unsafe to do so, you have to be prepared to stand your ground and be ready to fight to move it indoors OR be prepared to be sued if you pack it in and go home. If they are being unreasonable, sometimes it's the only smart thing to do. Stage lights, mic stands, electric guitars, and all that wiring - they're all just begging to be struck by lightning. And lightning sucks! - ain't that right Max? It is lethal, unpredictable, and undiscriminating. Even if you're not hit directly, it's another way to lose a lot of your investment in a hurry. Grounded outlets, Power conditioners, surge protectors, ground fault interuptors - are even more essential outdoors.
TARPS - no matter how perfectly clear the skies are, and no matter if the weatherman says 0% chance of rain, be ready to batten down the hatches in a hurry. If your region is experiencing a drought, just set up a PA system outside, outdoor PAs are the ultimate rainmakers. If you're not prepared, you could be going home from the job with a truckload of ruined equipment. Rather than making any money, you'll be money out of pocket to repair and replace things. Mics, speakers, amps, mixers - none of them like any amount of water. Those cute little canopy things are nice, but won't keep your gear from getting a good misting - even if it's just a light straight down rain. You need to be prepared for a good sideways rain accompanied by some wind. So have tarps for the mix-position, tarps for the stacks, tarps for the amps, tarps to protect the stage-gear. Your monitor wedges are sitting there with their own funnel just waiting to catch some rain and ruin the horn drivers. It doesn't take much rain to trash your horns and even a light mist will accumulate. Tarps are the cheapest insurance you can have. And they don't do you any good at home, or even in the truck. Put them in place, so all you have to do is flip them up over the gear and tie them down on a moment's notice. There won't be time to rig something once it has started to rain. The musicians will be scrambling around the stage trying to protect their investment too. Makeshift stages, never have adequate stairs, so you'll all be in each other's way. I know some festival guys who completely cover their stacks with tarps - rain or shine and then try to compensate for the tarp covering the speakers with their EQ. I'm not a fan of the sound, but you do what you gotta do. Make sure you cover the snake's stagebox too, it's sitting there usually connectors to the sky. Do whatever you gotta do to keep that thing dry. If it's a 2 minute rain shower and your stagebox got soaked - you're done until it is thoroughly dried. If you're doing the outdoor show thing, taking along a blow-dryer isn't a bad idea just incase something like that does get wet. NOTE: If your gear does get soaked, do not get in a big hurry to power it back up "just to see if it still works". Impatience here will be very expensive. Take it home, use fans, use hair dryers, disassemble as needed. Let it dry for SEVERAL DAYS before you even think about running electricity through it.
SHADE - OK, so you got lucky and it's not raining (yet). Do whatever it takes to protect your gear from direct sunlight. Again the cute little canopy is only going to protect you from the straight down mid-day sun. Mid-morning and later in the day you'll be wishing for some flaps on the side of your canopy. Tarps are your friend here too.
FANS - on a warm sunny day the ambient air temperature is already significantly higher than any normal club date. Run a big box fan through your amp rack to help them stay cool. I know, I know your amps have their own fans - trust me this will make a big difference in their internal temperature. Do the fans in the amps want the airflow front to back or back to front? By the way, when was the last time you cleaned the filters on your amps fans? If your amps have filters, give them a good cleaning before and after the outdoor gig - maybe even during.
SHOVEL - if the venue doesn't have conduit in place, dig a little trench 3-4 inches deep and bury your snake and other cables to the mix-position. It's a huge pain, but better than having everyone tripping over, stepping on, and driving over your cables.
TOWELS & RAGS - for shade, soaking up water, and wiping off that filthy bunch of cables you just pulled back out of the muddy trench.
Day one is over, oh yeah.... TARPS again... once the sun goes down dew will cling to all those things that were toasty warm during the day (even as the last band(s) are playing). And by morning everything will be covered in dew, including you.
SECURITY - it's well documented that alcohol can make things look more attractive, that includes all your nice shiny boxes. Day one is behind you and now you can either load everything back in the truck and drive home - or leave your system set-up overnight. Serious venues will provide uniformed security throughout the night to guard your investment. If not...
You were prepared to camp out right? Yep, easy money.....
<cue hysterical laughter again>
Remember kids, don't try this at home!
Rain and outdoor gigs, just tons of fun. I remember a gig in Ohio where it went from sunny to monsoon in about 45 minutes. We got the gear down in triple time but putting it back up at the next stop of the tour took an extra eight hours because everything just gets yanked and stowed no rhyme or reason. We started there very early and just barely made the curtain.
Mine is B flat because yours is A sharp
In Scotland, you can forgo the fans and tarps for the purposes of blocking sunlight but you'll need DOUBLE the tarps to fight back the inevitable rain.
Basically you need a whole other flight-case containing a thousand square metres of thick tarp (and poles), some towels, and a powered fan?
Also remember that when you're outside you'll typically need more oomph in your amps to cover the loss of volume caused by the lack of walls.
Curious button pushing Church sound guy has returned from ... wherever he was.
I'd like to clarify, SoundBlasters will do the job.
But they'll do a bloody awful one.
An interesting turn on the subject gents... but yeah... I can dig it.
The other thing that no one likes to talk about.... EVER... is a good first aide kit. Blisters, cuts, twisted ankles, etc...
Then the real big nasty... lightning.
Establish an inclement weather policy... someone to watch the weather, listen to NOAA, sumpin'. Then, when bad weather approaches, use the 30/30 rule.
30 seconds (or less) from flash to bang; SHUT IT DOWN!
Then wait 30 minutes after the last flash of lightning before turning it back on.
If you are caught in the weather, get the hell away from anything as high or higher than the average trees around you. ESPECIALLY truss, electrical lines or anything of substantial metal content. Get in a vehicle and do not touch the metal in the vehicle.
If you cannot get in a building or vehicle, crouch down on the balls of your feet and only touch your fingers on the ground. This will minimize the surface area you are exposing to the ground discharge path of a potential strike.